Arsenal had seven and then eight and then seven and now just two players hit by an injury crisis. It must be the international break.
Let’s all have an injury crisis party
At the end of an international break, there’s gold in them there hills for claiming that a big club is having an injury crisis. And the Mirror website have been panning for such gold and decided that Arsenal are looking shiny in the mud.
‘Mikel Arteta handed seven-man Arsenal injury crisis ahead of North London derby’ came on the afternoon of September 27, though in the wee early hours of September 28, that had been upgraded to ‘Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta’s eight-man injury crisis amid transfer target’s tease’. Inflation really is out of control.
By the actual morning of September 28, order had been restored (thank you Kwasi Kwarteng) and the Mirror were telling us ‘How Arsenal could line up for North London derby amid seven-man injury crisis’. Somebody has clearly been told that ‘injury crisis’ has a high SEO value.
It turns out that Arsenal could actually face Tottenham with a back four of William Saliba at right-back, Rob Holding and Gabriel in the centre of defence and Cedric Soares at left-back. This really is a crisis!
In reality, Mediawatch will eat its own shoes if that is the line-up on Saturday because it is absolute, unadulterated bollocks designed to scare Arsenal fans and excite Tottenham fans into a click.
‘Who lines up just in front of the Englishman is perhaps Arteta’s biggest headache, with four of his defenders in a race against time to be fit. Kieran Tierney, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Oleksandr Zinchenko could all be ruled out, leaving the Arsenal boss with a crisis at full-back.
‘Though he has only played at centre-back this term, William Saliba did frequently line-up on the right of a back three at Marseille during last year’s loan spell and could be pushed out to the flank if White and Tomiyasu are both ruled out. It’s far from ideal, but in case it does happen, Rob Holding will be standing by ready to partner Gabriel at centre-half, although he will hope to bury the demons of May’s disasterclass against Spurs.’
And why could Ben White be ruled out? Extensive Googling later and we honestly have no idea. We can only assume that being substituted four minutes before the end of a 3-0 win over Brentford has automatically catapulted him into a ‘seven-man injury crisis’.
So the ‘biggest headache’ is actually that Arsenal might not have a fit left-back, though a whole day later, the Mirror are forced to admit that actually, pretty much everybody is fit to play and the only players actually likely to miss the clash with Tottenham are Emile Smith Rowe and Mo Elneny.
Is that now a two-man injury crisis?
Let’s all have an injury crisis Partey
As part of that more sober injury update, the Mirror tell us that ‘Partey was withdrawn from Ghana’s starting lineup ahead of Friday’s friendly against Brazil after feeling some discomfort in his knee, although it was thought to be more precautionary than anything. As a result, it is hoped that he will be on course to feature this weekend’.
Seems sensible. But then 48 minutes later…
‘Arsenal “in trouble” for Tottenham clash as Mikel Arteta’s huge injury concern emerges’
The player in question is of course Thomas Partey, with a ‘huge injury concern emerging’ just after we all learned that actually, there was no real need for any concern at all.
And there’s more…
What’s this fresh hell?
‘Mikel Arteta faced with fresh William Saliba “problem” ahead of Tottenham showdown’ – Mirror.
This ‘fresh’ (very clever as it definitely implies an injury) problem is actually that ‘Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been told by former Gunner William Gallas that William Saliba has a “problem” at the Emirates as he has no senior centre-back to learn from’.
Has Tony Adams just retired?
Setback, setback, setback to where you once belonged
And then there’s Manchester United. Let’s pretend they are also facing an injury crisis while also crowbarring Ronaldo into a headline.
‘How Man Utd could line up vs Man City after Cristiano Ronaldo suffers setback’
The ‘setback’ of course is that Cristiano Ronaldo did not play very well over the international break.
And how could they line up? Exactly how they did in their last Premier League game, of course, because they have no new injuries. FFS.
Hold the back page!
The Daily Mail tell us on their actual back page that ‘Everton winger (Anthony Gordon) is understood to be one youngster being monitored closely before the World Cup after consistently strong displays in the Premier League and for Lee Carsley’s Under 21s’.
Can we stop you there and ask…